11+ Entrance Exams
There is a huge range of Independent/private schools entrance exams, especially London independent school entrance exams.
We also recommend our partner’s premium common entrance test 13+ resources.
independent school entrance exams
Private School Entrance across London
This is why we focus here on entrance exam papers for private schools. These schools are fee paying and most of them are members of the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate). Private schools are independent of many regulations that apply to state schools. The biggest of these regulations that they are independent of is the National Curriculum.
Welcome to our Private School Past Papers
With the state sector underfunded and the best-performing schools oversubscribed, it is no surprise that many parents turn to the private sector for secondary schools. Top private schools have their choice of the best and brightest candidates. They use entrance exams to identify those pupils with the strongest academic potential. To give your child the best chances of succeeding, it’s important to prepare them effectively.
That’s the main reason I formed Passed Papers – to give every parent easy access to the right past papers and test-taking tips. That means improved scores and reduced anxiety for you and your child.
Why is Practice so important?
The best way to prepare for private school entrance exams is by using past papers. Firstly, sitting an entrance exam is stressful. If your child knows to expect, they will be a lot calmer on the big day. This will allow them to work to the best of their ability. Another reason is that if your child has practised answering similar questions under timed conditions, they will get used to working quickly and accurately. Finally, taking past papers will reveal the types of questions your child consistently gets wrong. By focusing on common mistakes, you can target your child’s practice and make the best use of his or her preparation time.
Private school entrance exams are as unique as the schools setting them.
Difficulty levels will vary, as will the types of questions featured. However, the majority of private school entrance exams test children on Maths and English/verbal ability.
The MATHS part of a private school entrance exam could cover a very wide range of Maths entrance exam topics. The majority of private school Maths entrance exams include Number, Measures, Algebra, Indices.
Most private schools provide examples of past papers to prospective applicants. Once you’ve identified the format of the entrance exam your child will be sitting, use similar past papers to give your child further practice.
ISEB Exam Intro
- ISEB, or the Independent School Examination Board, provides sets of Common Pre-tests for senior school students in year 6 or 7, when the students are aged 10 to 12.
- While candidates who are aged 6 take the 11+ Common Entrance Exam, those who are aged 8 years take the 13+ Common Entrance Exam for admittance to the senior school of their choice.
- The ISEB tests are considered entrance tests for students by many prep or senior schools and the marks achieved therein help students to gain admittance to independent schools.
- As these tests are age-standardised exams, students start to prepare for them at a very young age in readiness for joining their senior school.
- ISEB tests are held online by the school administration in which the pupil currently studies. They include multiple choice questions in English, mathematics, non-verbal and verbal reasoning.
- As it is the responsibility of the senior school students to inform the parents about the Common Pre-tests, parents do not need to register.
- The ISEB is taken once a year for those children applying to several senior schools.
What happens to my ISEB results?
The scores for the ISEB tests are shared with all the senior schools that the candidate is registered with.
Hence, the parents need to inform the administration of each senior school about the test their child took before admission.
How long is the ISEB common entrance test?
The total time:
- Given to complete the test is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- This is allotted as follows:
- 25 minutes for the English section.
- , 50 minutes for the Maths section.
- 32 minutes for the Non-verbal reasoning section.
- And the remaining 36 minutes for the verbal reasoning section.
Students can take the tests together or separately. However, each section needs to be completed within the given time allotted to the respective section.
Overseas candidates can take the exam at the testing centres accepted by the senior schools.
What sort of questions are in each section of the ISEB Common Entrance Exam?
- The questions under the English category comprise reading comprehension, sentence forming, punctuation and spelling.
- In the Maths section, the ISEB Maths questions align with the National Curriculum. Hence, students need to address the topics taught on the National Curriculum up to 5 years of age.
- For the verbal reasoning part, questions are asked based on common words, word combinations, antonyms, number codes and letter transfer.
- Lastly, in the non-verbal reasoning section, questions focus on geometry, horizontal codes and classes.
Based on the syllabus for the Common Pre-test, it is suggested that students do not need any special preparation as the test is designed to identify the potential and attainment of candidates. A brief syllabus of the ISEB test can be downloaded from its official website.
If a student is interested in undertaking special preparation, parents can visit the online ISEB website and download the previous year’s question papers and several textbooks endorsed by ISEB.
Common Entrance Exam Intro
The Common Entrance Test is offered by Galore Park, which is the selected distributor of the Independent School Examination Board (ISEB) exam papers. The common entrance exams are titled the 11+ Entrance Test and the 13+ Entrance Test.
The 11+ Common Entrance Test is conducted by senior schools in the United Kingdom in order to assess the eligibility of the candidate to enter the respective senior school. The test is held in year 6, during the spring or autumn. The subjects for the 11+ entrance exam are English, mathematics and science. The exam is at one level only.
What sort of questions are in each section of the Common Entrance Exam?
- For the English section, students are tested on their writing and reading skills.
- Maths section entails an hour answering questions on numbers, measuring, algebra, geometry, space and data.
- For the science section, the 11+ Common Entrance Test covers biology, chemistry and physics knowledge.
- Verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning are not part of the 11+ test, but many prep schools prefer to test the candidates in these areas as well.
For the mathematics section, students need to sit these three levels.
- The first Maths level is a calculator paper.
- Second MAths level is a non-calculator paper.
- Third Maths level is a mental arithmetic paper.
- For science subjects, there are also two levels of paper, and students prefer to sit level 2.
There are optional papers for the exam, including Latin, Classical Greek, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. For the English paper, there are two levels. Papers for other subjects are also divided into several levels and students prefer to sit the standard level to achieve the more valuable score.
Which schools use the Common Entrance Exam?
- The 13+ Common Entrance Test is also conducted by senior schools to assess eligibility for admission.
- This exam is mostly held in spring or summer during year 8. Practice and mock tests for the exam are also provided by Galore Park to help prepare the candidate for this exam.
- The main subjects of the 13+ Entrance Exams are English, mathematics and science.
- However, additional subjects that students can apply for to enhance their admission process include French, geography, history and religious studies. Most pupils prefer to sit the second level as it is the standard paper.
How much does the Common Entrance Exam cost?
- The fee for students to take the exam in the United Kingdom is £125.
- However, if a candidate prefers to be tested on subjects separately, the fee is £25 for each subject.
- The date and timing of the exam for each academic year is available at the ISEB or Galore Park exam site.
- Both the 11+ Common Entrance Test and 13+ Common Entrance Test are vital for students going to senior schools in the United Kingdom and the scores of these exams are evaluated during admission time.
- Students with a high score get to choose their preferred senior school.
Private School Admissions
Visiting the Admissions page for the relevant schools will help you understand the procedures each private school in London uses for admission and you will be able to see:
- which forms of assessment is used
- whether it is a day or boarding school
- whether it is coeducational, a boys school or a girls school
Navigating each private school in London’s website will also provide information regarding:
- school fees
- religious affiliation
- assistance such as scholarships and bursaries
- religious affiliation
- age range at each school
- special education
It is still highly recommended to get in contact with each of the private schools in London that made it onto your shortlist and visit them on their relevant open days. It is also important for you and your child to get a feel for the school and make sure that your child is part of this process. You might also find my blog on School Open Days very informative and helpful.
Good luck with this very important journey.
London independent school entrance exams